Archive for August, 2009

Cod Liver Oil-Your Pet’s Best Friend

Monday, August 31st, 2009

We all love our pets and want to make sure that they live long, healthy lives. Sadly, many of the pet products that are commonly sold on the market lack the full amount of nutrients that cats and dogs need to maintain proper health. One of the best things that we can do to help supplement these nutrients into our pet’s diet is to give them a daily dose of cod liver oil which is loaded with nutrients that are beneficial to pets.

What is Cod Liver Oil?

For hundreds of years people have used cod liver oil for it’s nutritional benefits to humans. In the past century, pet suppliers have also harnessed the power of this supplement to provide additional nutrition to pets after a man named Edward Mellanby performed research that found cod liver oil could be beneficial to pets with arthritis.

Cod liver oil is an oil that is retrieved from fish. The oil is loaded with vitamins A and D, and also contains omega-3 fatty acids that are not only excellent for pets with arthritis as Mellanby speculated, but also in other areas of pet health as well.

Pet Health Benefits of Cod Liver Oil

The nutritional value of cod liver oil helps to provide joint support which can indeed help as a treatment for pets that suffer from arthritis. However, supplementing cod liver oil into your pet’s diet from an early age can also prevent arthritis from occurring because it helps to keep joints loose and limber.

Cod liver oil is good for all pets, but should definitely be given to some breeds of dogs that are more prone to developing joint disorders as it can help to prevent the joint problems from occurring. It is also highly beneficial to both cats and dogs that are older and may be beginning to experience stiffness in their hips and legs after sleeping.

Working dogs can benefit from a cod liver oil supplement because it also helps to provide the dog with a natural energy booster. But be warned, older pets that have become more sedentary and lazy may suddenly start running around and acting young again thanks to the energy this supplement provides!

Finally, cod liver oil also helps to provide a healthy coat and skin for your pet. Many people do not realize it, but having a healthy coat and skin is important to your pets health because it prevents serious skin and coat conditions from occurring that can actually affect your pets overall health.

Purchasing Cod Liver Oil for Pets

When purchasing a cod liver oil supplement for your pets, look for a quality supplement that contains no additives and has been distilled to produce a pure oil, such as the Pet Cod Liver Oil from Nordic Naturals that is safe for use in both cats and dogs. Just a small dosage of the oil added to your pets food daily will provide them with the additional nutrients that they need and help to keep them healthy and strong for many years.

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Keep Your Liver Strong with Milk Thistle

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Milk thistle may be a pest for some gardeners, but for many people this plant is a prized possession thanks to it’s powerful healing abilities. Milk thistle helps to keep our blood clean and strong by providing support to our liver, the organ most responsible for blood cleansing.

The Healing Properties of Milk Thistle

The milk thistle plant is loaded with a chemical substance called silymarin. Silymarin has a number of different health benefits, all of which help to provide support to the liver to keep it healthy and functioning properly.

Silymarin works in one way to help encourage cell growth within the liver. When the liver is able to continuously change the outer layer of the livers cells with new healthy cells, it is better able to keep harmful toxins out that can cause liver damage.

Another property of silymarin is that it works as an anti-inflammatory to keep liver cells stable and prevent swelling of the cells should an injury occur to the liver. The chemical also has antioxidant properties which help to reduce and prevent damage caused by free radicals which help to protect the liver from damage that can be caused by degenerative diseases.

Many natural health practitioners and herbalists use milk thistle to treat and protect the body from liver damage that can occur from a variety of factors including drugs, alcoholism, chemicals and diseases. The medical practitioners have noted significant improvements to patients suffering from liver pollution from these conditions, as the milk thistle helps to repair damage that has already occurred.

Milk Thistle as a Blood Cleanser

Our liver is like a small washing machine in our body. Polluted blood goes in, is “washed” by the liver and comes out clean. Healthy, clean blood is essential for good health since our blood is what keeps our body going. If our blood becomes polluted with toxins, the rest of our body will quickly start to show the affects and our health will decline.

In order for us to have clean and healthy blood, the liver must be kept healthy so that it can perform it’s job as the “washer.” When we keep our liver healthy, we ultimately help to ensure the rest of us stays healthy as well thanks to the clean flow of blood that is traveling to all of our cells and organs.

Taking a Milk Thistle Supplement

Milk thistle provides the best results when a supplement is taken daily. Fortunately, there are no known or reported side effects of taking milk thistle though it is always recommended to consult with your physician before you begin taking any herbal supplement. This is especially important if you are on prescription medications to ensure there are no drug/herbal interactions.

Milk thistle can be purchased to take by itself in capsule form such as the Milk Thistle Extract capsules available by Nature’s Way or you can also find milk thistle that is blended with other beneficial cleansing herbs like the Milk Thistle Liver Cleanse by Nature’s Secret that contains a blend of 20 cleansing botanicals.

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Bring a Dark Exotic Beauty into Your Life with Mangosteen

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

Mangosteen is an exotic fruit that comes to us deep from the heart of the jungles in southeast Asia. Used for centuries in it’s native country as a powerful treatment for many health conditions, mangosteen is now becoming more popular in the western world as those in the west begin to turn more and more to natural treatments for staying healthy.

The Mangosteen Fruit

The mangosteen fruit that is harvested to make a variety of mangosteen health products is the fruit of a tropical evergreen tree  that is native to eastern tropical jungles in Asia, Indonesia and the Sunda Islands. The white interior of the fruit is valued as a delicious dessert while the outer rind of the fruit holds a miraculous blend of beneficial antioxidants, xanthones and polyphenols.

Mangosteens have quickly fallen under the category of a “super fruit” based on a combination of factors used to determine if a food falls into this newly developed category. The mangosteen is not only has a very pleasing flavor, it also offers powerful antioxidant strength, nutrient richness and the potential to lower the risk against many health problems, all of which help to classify it is a super food.

Mangosteen Health Benefits

One of the best benefits of the mangosteen is the antioxidant effects that it has on the human body. Antioxidants have the power to destroy free radicals in the body which are known to cause a number of chronic diseases such as cancer. Many companies that process mangosteen juice, which is made from the nutrient rich outer rind of the fruit, focus primarily on these antioxidant benefits when promoting their product but the mangosteen offers many more benefits than just antioxidant power.

In some of the clinical studies that have been performed on mangosteen juice, researchers have documented a number of conditions that benefit from the juice which include, but are not limited to:

  • Analgestic properties (helps to prevent pain)
  • Anti-depressant
  • Energy boosting properties
  • Immune system booster
  • Anti-aging benefits
  • Anti-viral powers
  • Anti-biotic
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-lipidemic (lowers bad cholesterol)
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Hypoglycemic properties (helps to lower blood sugar)
  • Assists with weight loss
  • Prevents kidney stones

These are just some of the health benefits offered by this amazing fruit, as there are many, many more that have been documented in many of the clinical studies that have been performed on the effects of patients that consume the fruit.

One of the largest benefits of the mangosteen juice is that there is virtually no risk or side effects that come with consumption of the juice. It is important to note however that there is some evidence that over-consumption of the mangosteen juice for prolonged periods of time can have adverse effects on the body.

There are a number of companies that are harnessing the power of the mangosteen in juice that can be sold to consumers. When considering a mangosteen juice for purchase, try to choose a juice that is organic and contains to added sugars or preservatives that may affect the quality of the products, like the Mangosteen Gold 100% Pure Mangosteen juice by Dynamic Health.

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Keep Your Veins Healthy as a Horse with Horse Chestnut

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

The Horse Chestnut tree, commonly referred to as the Buckeye tree, gifts us with almost all of the nutrition we need to keep our veins healthy and strong. Not only does horse chestnut help to prevent venous problems from occurring, but it can be used to treat existing problems as well.

Common Conditions Treated with Horse Chestnut

Many vascular problems can be treated, and prevented, with daily use of horse chestnut. Just a few of the venous diseases that can be treated by this hardy plant include:

  • Varicose veins
  • Phlebitis
  • Hardening of the arteries
  • Leg ulcers

Taking a small daily dose of horse chestnut in one of it’s many forms can help to relieve pain and irritation caused be these conditions, as the herb has strong anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps to reduce fluid retention, which helps to provide strong blood circulation which is necessary to both treat and prevent many vascular problems.

One of the extracts of the horse chestnut is a compound called escin. Escin is essential for helping to provide healthy wall strength to the veins, so consumption of the herb will help to strengthen veins to protect them from vascular disease. Escin also has antioxidant properties which help to protect elastin and collagen, both of which are essential to the healthy structure of your veins.

How to Use Horse Chestnut

Research has shown that horse chestnut can be beneficial for vein health when used both internally and externally. Many of the benefits from this herb come from internal consumption and that area is where most research has been performed. Researchers are now realizing however, that using horse chestnut oil externally on the skin can help with treating rheumatoid arthritis and other venous diseases to help reduce symptoms and relieve pain.

Horse chestnut is primarily used in treating vascular problems but it does have some other beneficial qualities to it as well. The seeds of the horse chestnut are often used for congestion as it has expectorant and decongestant properties. When a compound is made from the powdered roots of the plant, it can be used as an analgesic to treat pain.

For the most part however, it is used for leg vein health thought Europeans who have been using this plant as an herbal remedy have also used it extensively as an anti-inflammatory agent as well. In fact, horse chestnut is primarily used as a herbal remedy in Europe though the popularity of the plant is growing.

You can purchase Horse Chestnut Seed Extract to take by itself daily as a preventative and treatment for leg problems, or you can also purchase a proprietary blend that contains the herb as well as other beneficial herbs such as Horse Chestnut Vein Strength by Planetary Formulas. Either way, this powerful herb is extremely helpful to those suffering from leg vein issues or those that are concerned about them and wish to prevent them from occurring by promoting healthy venous conditions.

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Holy Basil-The “Elixir of Life”

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

Holy basil is one of the most commonly used herbs in Ayurvedic medicine. This flowering plant is sacred to Hindus, and is used not only as a medicinal herb but in worship as well. Often referred to by Hindus as the “Elixir of Life” and the “Queen of Herbs,” this beneficial and powerful plant has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.

Health Benefits of Holy Basil

Holy basil is an adaptogen. This means that the herb has the power to increase vitality and generally rejuvenate the body. Adaptogens are also often referred to as tonics, which are used primarily in medicine to maintain a general wellness and balance. Adaptogens work more by keeping the body healthy, than curing an illness that is already present.

Holy basil has positive effects on both the mind and the body. It is used to enhance natural homeostatic balance to the receptors in the brain to prevent stress to the physiological systems and helps the mind have the capacity to cope with challenging situations that can normally induce significant levels of stress. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine to help provide nutrients to the brain that are necessary for assistance with meditation and spiritual enlightenment.

Holy basil is a strong antioxidant that provides protection from free radicals that can damage the body. It neutralizes biochemicals that can lead to degenerative diseases and cancer. It increases the absorption of healthy nutrients from foods by enhancing the digestive system and promotes healthy liver function.

Holy basil is a powerful anti-inflammatory that reduces inflammation, and it is beneficial to your cardiovascular system as it helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It helps to moderate blood sugar levels which makes it a powerful treatment for those with diabetes. It provides staminate, reduces and prevents fevers, enhances the bodies ability to process proteins, has anti-aging effects and much, much more. In fact, there are very few things that Holy basil is not beneficial for in our bodies.

Taking a Holy Basil Supplement

Holy basil can be found in a variety of dosages. Some recommend taking one dosage per day while others feel a single dosage a day will suffice. The most important thing to consider when taking a Holy basil supplement is the quality of the product to ensure that you reap the most benefits from the herb. Products such as Holy Basil Extract by Source Naturals provide an adequate dosage of the herb in just one serving per day.

Holy basil is a relatively safe herbal supplement with very few side effects being reported by those taking the medication. However, as with most herbal supplements it should only be used for brief periods of time with small breaks in between uses and should not be used by women who are pregnant or breast-feeding. It should also not be used prior to any surgical procedures you may be having, as it may pose a risk of excessive bleeding during surgery.

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Forgetful? Don’t Forget to Take Your Ginkgo Biloba!

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Ginkgo biloba has become quite popular thanks to the benefits it provides for healthy brain and memory function. In today’s hustle and bustle life, many people find themselves forgetful and suffering from memory problems, leading them to seek out a natural memory booster that improves brain function.

Gikgo Biloba and Brain Function

Clinical studies have shown that ginkgo biloba shows a great deal of promise at helping to promote healthy brain function which helps to improve our memory capabilities. Many of the research performed on patients that take a ginkgo supplement have also shown that the herb can also provide invaluable support for Alzheimer’s patients by helping to reduce many of the symptoms associated with the disease.

Ginkgo has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine as ancient healers realized that the herb helped to assist those patients that had difficulties with memory increase and higher thought. The reason that ginkgo is such a great treatment for memory concerns and brain function, is because it helps to improve capillary circulation which helps to provide better blood circulation to the brain to increase it’s ability to function properly.

Other Health Benefits of Ginkgo Biloba

Though ginkgo is most often taken for helping to improve brain and memory function, this multi-purpose herb also helps to provide a variety of other health benefits as well. Ginkgo has been found to interfere with platelet activating factor, a process that researchers have linked to possibly cause conditions like hearing disorders, heart disease, asthma and psoriasis.

Ginkgo biloba is also a strong antioxidant that helps to prevent damage caused by free radicals to our tissues and organs. It also helps to raise oxygen levels in the body which is not only great for all of our organs, but also adds to it’s ability to improve brain function as the brain requires a large amount of the body’s oxygen.

Taking a Ginkgo Biloba Supplement

Adding a supplement of ginkgo biloba to your diet can help in a number of ways. Even if you only add gingko to your diet for just it’s memory aiding abilities, the rest of your body will also appreciate the benefits that it will experience from the herbs healing properties.

A ginkgo biloba supplement should be made with natural and organic herbs that contains no unnatural additives, like the Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract tablets made by Solgar. You can also purchase herbal supplements that contain ginkgo along with a blend of other beneficial nutrients that will promote good brain health like the Ginkgo-Bacopa Quick Thinking capsules that are made by Rainbow Light.

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